Journal of Maritime Archaeology

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 271–284

UNESCO, URI, and Archaeology in the Deep Blue Sea: Archaeological Ethics and Archaeological Oceanography

Original Paper


Multiple groups have interests that intersect within the field of deep submergence (beyond the 50 meter range of SCUBA) archaeology. These groups’ differing priorities present challenges for interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly as there are no established guidelines for best practices in such scenarios. Associating the term ‘archaeology’ with projects directed at underwater cultural heritage that are guided by archaeologists poses a real risk to that heritage. Recognizing that the relevant professional organizations, local laws, and conventions currently have little ability to protect pieces of cultural heritage across disciplines and international boundaries, the authors propose institution-specific mechanisms, called Archaeology Review Boards, guided by local and international laws and conventions concerning cultural heritage, as the best means to provide oversight for academically centered archaeological activities at the local level.


Archaeology Ethics 2001 UNESCO convention Underwater cultural heritage 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of HistoryThe University of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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